The Spectacle Blog

Rolling Stone Withdraws Explosive Story of UVA Rape

By on 12.5.14 | 2:48PM

With a note to readers saying that their trust in the accuser was "misplaced" and that there now seem to be "discrepancies in her account," Rolling Stone magazine has retracted a dramatic "investigative" article claiming that a young woman nicknamed Jackie was gang-raped at a University of Virginia fraternity party in September 2012.

The fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi - which was vandalized after the article was published - has issued a statement rebutting the article, including that there was no party at the frat house on the night in question.

The story, violent and heart-wrenching, played into the worst fears of Americans about the so-called epidemic of sexual assaults on college campuses around the country -- something which seems to be manufactured by ludicrous definitions of what qualifies as sexual assault. (This is not to downplay the harm of true sexual assaults.)

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Barack and Michelle Obama’s Romance May Be Headed to the Big Screen

By on 12.5.14 | 2:43PM

These days, the only people who seem remotely satisfied with Barack Obama's job performance are people living in beachfront mansions on the California coast. Even actual Communists and socialists have taken to things like social media to express their deep regret that the guy who promised to even the playing field has, in fact, been more inept on the subject of income inequality than Scrooge McDuck. They may as well have run Paul Krugman, if they could pry him away from his cats.

But, as I noted, Hollywood is still deeply in love with their President. Gwyneth Paltrow probably has an autographed photo of Barack hanging above her bed, so that it's the first thing she sees when she awakens from slumber in her bed that costs more than you'll make in a decade. George Clooney likely considers Barack the third person in his marriage, and while everyone has long forgotten Barack and Michelle's fairytale romance, as loosely-source campaign propaganda, Hollywood is, apparently, greenlighting movie about their Chicago courtship that will begin filming in July.

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Everything is Terrible, So Here’s Barack Obama Awkwardly Dancing with Santa

By on 12.5.14 | 2:26PM

Is it just me, or has this been the longest week in history? Literally, everything is terrible. I don't even know why. 

Anywayyyy, since I have not yet figured out how to click my heels together and dramatically change the entire political landscape, thus rendering me your benevolent dictator, here's a video I found of Barack Obama dancing awkwardly with Santa Claus at the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony that took place last night. Pay special attention to the 'thumbs up, overbite move" he does.

Oh, and you're welcome, America.

And if you're wondering, the Obama daughters did look like they enjoyed this cheesy holiday tradition, at least.

Have a happy Friday, everyone!

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Didi Gregorius Has Some Awfully Big Shoes to Fill at Yankee Stadium

By on 12.5.14 | 12:54PM

If you've never heard of Didi Gregorius before, you're going to hear an awful lot about him now because it appears he will be replacing Derek Jeter at shorstop for the New York Yankees.

The Yankees have reportedly concluded a three way trade between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Detroit Tigers. The Yankees dealt pitcher Shane Greene to the Tigers while the Tigers traded pitcher Robbie Ray to the D'Backs who in turn deal Gregorius to the Yankees.

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Obama Might as Well Have Appointed Ashton Kutcher to be Secretary of Defense

By on 12.5.14 | 12:13PM

As expected, President Obama has appointed Ashton Carter to replace Chuck Hagel as the fourth Secretary of Defense in his administration.

At this point, I don't think it really matters who Obama appoints to the position. Carter was not Obama's first choice. Neither Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed nor Michèle Flaunroy wanted the job because of White House micromanagement that stymied Hagel and before him Leon Panetta and Bob Gates.

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Republicans Vote to Block Executive Action on Immigration, Sort Of

By on 12.4.14 | 5:28PM

The House just passed a bill that would, should it pass the Senate and survive an almost certain veto, prevent President Obama from using executive authority to grant amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants.

The bill was originally going to be a rider on a government funding bill, but backing down from that almost certain fight, John Boehner decided to bring the bill to a vote separately, because he's ready go home and get started on his Christmas Mystic Tan, and you all are just getting really annoying

The House of Representatives issued another largely symbolic rebuke to President Barack Obama's agenda Thursday, voting to roll back his immigration executive order that could help up to 4.1 million people avoid deportation. The measure narrowly passed with a vote of 219 to 197.

Seven Republicans from districts with large number of Latinos voted against it while three Democrats from more red districts supported the measure.

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Tony Blair’s Awkward Family Photo

By on 12.4.14 | 2:29PM

Is it just me, or does former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair look terrified to be in his own Christmas card photo?

His wife looks a bit like she's trying to hold him back. 

Nothing says "Happy Christmas!" like a terrified former Prime Minister in a slightly-too-open dress shirt, I suppose. At least it's not a "Get Well" card.

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A Pro-Hillary Org Released a Country Music Video and it is My Everything

By on 12.4.14 | 2:08PM

I could describe the video for you, but that would deprive you of the joy and emotion you'll feel as you listen to this masterpiece of a music video. 

Stand With Hillary, which is not "Ready for Hillary" but is also clearly ready for Hillary, has released a country music video for the Presidential candidate that's no doubt considered one of the least "country" people in American history. It features everything that makes America America: apple pie, construction workers, grazing cattle, riding motorcycles in the country, mountains, the family blessing before dinner, little children holding fireworks, and the aging, radical matriarch of a well-to-do political dynasty.

Becasuse, obviously. 

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Guy Who Filmed Eric Garner Death Gets Indicted

By on 12.4.14 | 1:00PM

The Eric Garner case is hitting home with people on both sides of the aisle, and for good reason. It's hard to imagine a more terrifying scenario: stopped by the police for a minor infraction based on a ridiculous tax law, dead in seconds after repeatedly begging for mercy from authorities, who stood by almost completely uninterested. The video of Garner being choked by an officer isn't just about an overreaching authority at every level, from legislative to on-the-street enforcement, it is, as Matt Lewis notes in his piece at The Week, a horrifying example of utter callousness at the value and dignity of human life. 

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Markakis Signs Four Year, $44 Million Deal with Braves

By on 12.3.14 | 11:06PM

After nine seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, Nick Markakis has signed a four-year, $44 million contract with the Atlanta Braves. Markakis is an Atlanta native.

A first round draft pickby the O's in 2003, Markakis made the big club in 2006 and has been a mainstay in the Orioles' lineup. His best overall season was in 2007 when he hit .300 with 23 HR and 112 RBI. In recent years, a wrist injury has limited his power. This season he hit only 14 HR and 50 RBI in 155 games although he hit a respectable .276 for the AL East champions. Markakis also won his second Gold Glove. 

It is interesting that the Braves gave up on Jason Heyward and have now signed Markakis who is six years older. While Markakis will probably not regain his earlier power numbers, his defense is superb and is still a solid hitter. Entering the 2015 season, Markakis has 1,547 hits. If he stays healthy, Markakis has an outside shot at 3,000 hits. Markakis has a lifetime batting average of .290 with 141 HR and 658 RBI. 

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